While U.S. employees say it takes $1.1 million in savings, on average, to retire comfortably, 56 per cent expect to have less than $500,000 saved, according to a new survey by Schroders.

It found 36 per cent of respondents expect to save less than $250,000 and only 24 per cent expect to save $1 million ahead of retirement. Among respondents nearing retirement age, more than half (54 per cent) said they’ll have less than $250,000 saved for retirement, while 22 per cent said they’ll have enough money to retire, down from 26 per cent in 2021. More than half (57 per cent) of retirees said they had less than $250,000 saved at retirement.

Read: Comfortable retirement out of reach for many employees: report

When asked what it will take to have a “dream retirement,” the top three replies among non-retirees aged 60 to 67 were winning the lottery (35 per cent), sacrificing today to save for later years (25 per cent) and staying on their current path to retirement (25 per cent). Among those who’ve already retired, 37 per cent said they’re comfortable, 37 per cent said, “not great, not bad,” while 18 per cent are struggling and five per cent said they’re “living the nightmare.” Just three per cent described their situation as “living the dream.”

Respondents’ top concerns about retirement include the impacts of inflation (65 per cent), health-care costs (64 per cent), a major market downturn (53 per cent), health issues (52 per cent), taxes (49 per cent) and not being able to afford their desired lifestyle (49 per cent).

More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of employees said they plan to work in retirement to cover basic living expenses (56 per cent), stay busy (51 per cent) and to keep active and in good health (49 per cent). More than two-fifths (44 per cent) said their expenses in retirement are higher than expected, while just eight per cent said expenses are less.

Read: Longevity pessimism poses risks to retirement planning: survey

Two-fifths (40 per cent) said they’ve done some retirement planning but don’t have a formal plan, while 37 per cent haven’t done any planning. Just 23 per cent said they have a written retirement plan to guide their decisions.

Among those without a plan, 76 per cent said they find the idea of planning overwhelming and 56 per cent believe it doesn’t make sense because life is so uncertain. However, among respondents who’ve planned for retirement, 91 per cent said their plan has been useful to them and 33 per cent said it has been critical to putting them on a better path for retirement. Only nine per cent said they don’t pay attention to their plan.

Read: How employers can support workers as record number of Canadians near retirement